11th Other Minds Music Festival: Centenary Celebration of Marc Blitzstein, Saturday, February 26, 2005, at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Songs from The Cradle Will Rock (1935-36)
Nickel Under the Foot - Amy X Neuburg, soprano
Joe Worker - Eric A. Gordon, baritone
The Cradle Will Rock - John Duykers, tenor
Art for Art's Sake - Johh Duykers, Eric A. Gordon, Amy X Neuburg, audience
All songs accompanied by pianist Sarah Cahill
Marc Blitzstein's best known composition is his 1936 music drama The Cradle Will Rock, set in steeltown, USA, with a cast of characters consisting of "types" rather than individuals, and with suitable names to match, such as Larry Foreman, Dauber the painter, and Mister Mister, the owner of the steel mill. The words as well as the music were created by Blitzstein. We open our program with Blitzstein's most famous song, Nickel Under the Foot, for which the audience will need to know that the terms "put and take" refer to a form of high-risk gambling on the stock market. Joe Worker is a wake-up call for laborers to organize. The inspired imagery of The Cradle Will Rock juxtaposes the rich exploiters, shielded from all care in a cradle high up in a tree, while workers race around at ground level doing their bidding. The storm that rocks their cradle is the mobilization of workers unionizing. "You can't stop the weather, not with all your dough!" Our final song is a wake-up call to artists themselves and we ask you to join our soloists in singing it through the second time.
All Other Minds programs available, with additional print and photo materials, at http://www.radiOM.org.